Alchemy puts Hawick on the map as Scotland’s Film Town

Fr@gile - an installation created by a group of local young people, thanks to funding from YouthLink Scotland. It explores communication, and the shifting ways in which we interact with the digital age. The Young Alchemy Moving Image Makers are: Lucka Best, Esme Biggar, Amelie Berry, Sophie Berry, Yasmin Watson, Skye Sommerville, Gavin Black, and Pippa Cuthbert.
Fr@gile - an installation created by a group of local young people, thanks to funding from YouthLink Scotland. It explores communication, and the shifting ways in which we interact with the digital age. The Young Alchemy Moving Image Makers are: Lucka Best, Esme Biggar, Amelie Berry, Sophie Berry, Yasmin Watson, Skye Sommerville, Gavin Black, and Pippa Cuthbert.

Alchemy Film & Moving Image Festival is celebrating its 2018 success in Hawick.

The eighth Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival was held in Hawick on May 3-7. It was a huge success, featuring 133 films from 30 countries across the world. Overall, there were a phenomenal 6,355 visits to the festival, which is up on 2017 by 13%.

Richard Ashrowan, Creative Director (pictured) said: “Hawick is becoming known the world over as home to a vibrant community of artists and filmmakers. The conversation about Hawick is changing – it is now as much about it being a film town, and a vibrant contemporary place for artists, as it is about its many other great traditions.”

The four day festival started with a one-day filmmaking symposium, with speakers from the UK, France and Canada invited to talk about their ‘Creative Strategies’. In the evening, a guided tour took visitors and locals around Hawick, to explore the film installations around town, including the High Street, the Library, the old Peter Scott knitwear factory, A7 Art space, and Unit Four, Cornucopia.

Film screenings in the Heart of Hawick auditorium included nine short film programmes, and three double bills, with the main features of the festival being the UK premiere of Czech Surrealist Jan Švankmajer’s Insect, and the world premiere of Canadian Mike Hoolboom’s Aftermath, which both received a warm reception.

Local filmmakers from the Borders-based Moving Image Makers Collective showed a selection of their work, at Hawick Film & Video Group Headquarters, showcasing films made in and around the Borders, including six world premieres of new work.

The most popular exhibition of the festival was Fr@gile – an installation created by a group of local young people, thanks to funding from YouthLink Scotland. It explores communication, and the shifting ways in which we interact with the digital age.

As is becoming Alchemy tradition, Monday was the film-walk. This year’s walk took visitors to Fatlips Castle, Minto to see the iconic moving image film The Text of Light by Stan Brakhage. The sun shone, and everyone present enjoyed the spectacular Borders landscape.

Visitwww.alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk to find out more, and to learn how you can get involved.